BACKGROUND: There is limited knowledge on how local cytokine secretion patterns after nasal allergen challenge correlate with clinical symptoms especially with regards to the "late allergic response" (LAR) which occurs in approximately 40-50% of allergic patients.
OBJECTIVE: In this study we aimed to characterise the immunological and clinical nasal responses to birch pollen allergen challenge with a special focus on the LAR.
METHODS: In this randomised double-blinded placebo-control trial, birch pollen allergic participants were challenged with pollen extract (n=20) or placebo (n=10) on three consecutive days. On days one and three nasal secretions were collected at selected time points over a 24h time course for the measurement of 33 inflammatory mediators. Clinical responses were determined through subjective symptom scores and objective nasal airflow measurements.
RESULTS: Provoked participants had significantly greater clinical responses and showed significant increases in tryptase and sST2 within minutes compared to placebo. Eight out of 20 provoked participants displayed high IL-13 levels 2-8 hours after allergen provocation. This group also showed significant changes in clinical parameters, with a secondary drop in nasal airflow measured by peak nasal inspiratory flow and increased symptoms of nasal obstruction which significantly differed from IL-13 non responders at 6 hours.
CONCLUSION: IL-13 response status correlates with cytokine and clinical responses in the late phase after allergen provocation.